The “Lange Jaap” at Den Helder, or in English “Long James”, as it is popularly called, with its 63,45 m or nearly 69 yards is the highest lighthouse building in the Netherlands. It was built in 1877-1878, actually from cast iron, making it also the highest cast iron tower in Europe.
It lost its position as the highest Dutch lighthouse in 1974, when a slightly higher concrete tower was built on the newly developped Maasvlakte at the outer harbour of Rotterdam, but that competitor was taken out of the race in 2008 when its lights were turned off. It now only serves as a radar tower.
The “Lange Jaap”, however, is still sending out its beams over the North Sea, with the maximum visibility of 54 km or 33 miles. The radar on its top is a modern addition, which does not take away from its symbolic character of the life-saving lightgiver. And giving good orientation to shipping is extremely important at its position as there are very treacherous sandbanks lying out of the coast.
With its bright red colour it stands out beautifully from the green dike, the yellow spring flowers and the blue sky that we could enjoy yesterday.
Den Helder, 18th April 2010, 1.29 pm
Nikon D80, Nikkor 18-200 mm at 18 mm
F 18, 1/125, ISO 200
Another shot of this wonderful lighthouse can be seen on my new lightthinker-gallery: